Christmas has come and gone, the new year is here, and we’re in the middle of summer—what’s not to love?
Brisbane in January comes with plenty to see and do. Here’s our pick of awesome things for you to do this January.
After screening plenty of Christmas classics in December, Moonlight Cinema will focus on new and old sizzling summer blockbusters to get you through January. Think new Hollywood hits including Avatar: The Way of Water, The Lost King, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, as well as Babylon and more.
2. Nab a last-minute ticket to Elton John’s final show
Due to the pandemic, Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road global tour has taken longer than anticipated. In fact, it’s been four years since the music legend has been saying goodbye to fans across the world on this extended tour. And while Elton did manage to hit Australasia as part of the farewell shows back in late 2019, he’s coming back again in January 2023 for one last hoorah.
3. Get a dose of the carby goodness at this new waterfront Italian restaurant
The Northside has scored a new Italian restaurant, right on the waterfront in Newport. Introducing you to Sì Baby, with its maroon interiors and neon sign, serving up Italian eats with a focus on share plates, as well as plenty of wine and cocktails.
You’ll find Sì Baby in the Newport Marketplace along Redcliffe Peninsula. And from what we’ve heard, it’s been super popular since opening. So you might want to plan and book in advance.
4. Cool off at this Mediterranean-inspired swim up pool bar
Now that the warmer weather of summer is upon us, the search begins for a place to cool down, preferably one with swimming involved. Thanks to The Westin Brisbane‘s Mediterranean-inspired pool bar, we don’t have to travel too far to relax by the pool with a cocktail. Nautilus Pool & Bar is the perfect spot to live out your European summer fantasies.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of summer, this oasis of fun will pay homage to the poolside lounges of the Amalfi Coast, with international DJs on the decks, sensational food and drinks, and swim time aplenty.
5. Secure your spot to Hamilton The Musical when it hits Brisbane
After successful seasons in Sydney and Melbourne, Hamilton the Musical is finally coming to Brisbane at the end of this month. Hamilton’s Brisbane run will hit the stage at QPAC from January 27, so gather the gang for one of the world’s most enthralling productions.
For the uninitiated, Hamilton, The Musical is the story of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury and right-hand man of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. He was a black immigrant from the West Indies and just like his country, he is ‘young, scrappy and hungry’.
6. Interact with the art at Museum of Brisbane’s ‘Play Moves’ summer exhibition
When it comes to art, Brisbane is in no shortage of awe-inspiring exhibitions. To add to the list is Play Moves, a new interactive exhibition hitting Museum of Brisbane for the summer.
Play Moves features a series of six interactive experiences, where you as the viewer can engage with the art through touch and immersion.
7. Taste your way through this gin festival
One thing that says summer in Brisbane is a refreshing G&T by the river. And what better place to do that than Howard Smith Wharves? To kickstart the new year (can you believe it?), a festival dedicated to Aussie gin is popping up by the water for one big Sunday session. Back for its fifth edition, Ginuary Festival is ready to raise the bar once again for local gin lovers.
8. Experience a Candlelight Concert
Candlelight’s candle-music combo has enchanted Brisbane audiences since the captivating concerts first took to the stage. The memorable evenings have shone a new light on live performances, making classical music or music performed by classically-trained musicians more accessible and open to everybody than ever before.
Transforming unique and iconic venues across the city with a sea of candles, the evenings are perfect for romantic rendezvous, dates with mates and outings with your favourite friends, as well as, the ultimate treat to oneself because you really don’t need anyone else to experience an hour of beautiful live music.
9. Skipper you and your mates down the Brisbane River on these BYO electric boats
GoBoat have become the easiest way for you and your friends to enjoy time on the water. The boats—constructed from fibreglass, which uses recycled PET bottles instead of virgin glass—are powered by an electric motor and have a top speed of seven kilometres per hour.
This means that you don’t need a license to skipper them and anyone over the age of eighteen can be captain for a day.
$129 – $479
10. Immerse yourself in the Neighbourhood Earth exhibition
Developed in partnership with NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the US Space and Rocket Center, Neighbourhood Earth offers an in-depth look into space exploration and beyond with models of iconic spacecraft, family-friendly hands-on activities, a full-size replica of a section of the International Space Station (perfect for some space selfies!), and more.
The interactive exhibition—designed to delight families, students and little future astronauts alike—explores the solar system and our place in it, the journeys we’ve embarked on and what’s next on our missions of discovery. Tickets are now on sale!
The countdown is on for a cosmic adventure.
11. Road trip down to Byron for a full moon wellness experience
Crystalbrook Byron is far more than just a luxury resort in a prime destination.
In addition to attending the morning yoga sessions at the resort, we recommend booking a stay during a full moon so you can experience the monthly ‘Bliss with Crystalbrook Byron’ full moon ceremony, hosted by Erin Rose, the Light Witch. Here, amongst the trees, you’ll be immersed in a sound healing, meditation, chakra cleansing and oracle card guidance, reflecting on your challenges and letting them go.
12. Check out the Disney exhibition before it closes
From Steamboat Willie of 1928 to more recent animated delights such as Moana, ‘Disney: The Magic Of Animation’ showcases the past and present of Disney through paintings, sketches, drawings, and concept art, including hand-drawn dalmatians, a huge wall-sized piece from Frozen II, and much more.
Even though some Disney animated titles have been remade, the exhibition will only focus on the originals, which makes some people (like me) happy. That Lion King remake just wasn’t the same.
13. Indulge in a bite and bubbly from this lobster roll pop-up
Deciding what to eat on a day or night out can be a bit of a struggle. But not with Lobster & Co. because there are three main things on the menu — an exquisite lobster roll, hard-to-resist truffle fries and a chilled glass of champagne. Enjoy this lush and indulgent meal while the decadent Lobster & Co. pop-up is in Brisbane until January 8.
14. Go out for a bottomless brunch
Bottomless brunches are great.
They’re great because they allow you time to sit, eat, drink and converse with your friends, which is what sharing a meal is all about.
Also, eating is not supposed to be rushed and weekends are meant to be enjoyed, so what better way to do so than by celebrating life and friendships by eating and drinking, and then ordering another round for the table at no extra cost?
15. Make your very own massage candle at this super fun ‘pour and sip’ workshop
If you and your friends have already done a paint and sip class and want to try a new activity, why not check out this candle-making workshop from local Brisbane artist Sheri Vegas? During her beginner-friendly Pour and Sip Massage Candle Class, you’ll get to make your own unique massage candle and coffee body scrub to take home and use.
16. Treat yourself at this souffle pancake pop up
Open from Wednesday ’til Sunday from November 23 – January 29, this pancake pop-up will have you biting into signature souffle pancake varieties such as Black Sugar Boba, creme brulee, Biscoffee, a honey and butter number, as well as the Uji Matcha, which is topped with matcha cream and a red bean paste. Our mouths are watering just thinking about them all, to be honest.
17. Take a dip at one of these magical swimming holes near Brisbane
Summer among us, and so is the humidity that comes with it. Just outside of the city, you’ll find some of the best swimming holes in Australia. These natural freshwater pools are filled up and ready for you to take a dip.
18. Find your next favourite read at the Lifeline Bookfest
The Lifeline Bookfest is back in Brisbane from January 14 – 22, taking over the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. You’ll be spoilt for choice on a huge range of pre-loved books starting at $2.50. If you’re in need of a book haul, you might want to save it for this event. You never know what you might find this year.
19. Cuddle adorable rescue deer at this sanctuary in Samford
Tucked away in a serene hideaway just thirty minutes north of Brisbane, Lyell Deer Sanctuary is the perfect spot to get up close and personal with adorable rescue deer of all sorts, from red and rusa to fallow deer.
The sanctuary, usually open to the public on weekends, is a family-run animal rescue service, home to not only deer but also goats, cows, chickens, guinea pigs, peacocks and more.
20. Sip a cocktail on the stunning Soko Rooftop
We love our rooftop bars here in Brisbane, which means we can never really have enough of them, right? To add to the list, we have Soko Rooftop in Fortitude Valley, which has just opened above the Jubilee Hotel.
Dine inside with the lush green interiors, or soak up the sunlight on the balcony under the striped umbrellas. Fourteen storeys high means glorious cityscape views. But that’s not the only thing Soko is serving up.
21. Dance all day at Wildlands Festival
Wildlands Festival is returning to Brisbane Showgrounds on January 7, bringing with it a stacked lineup of Aussie and international artists.
The lineup for this edition includes electronic powerhouse Diplo as well as New Zealand singer-songwriter Benee and American rapper Denzel Curry. You can also catch dance music legends such as Dom Dolla, Joy, Ninajirachi, Kota Banks and more.